A federal judge in California ruled last week that national counting for the 2020 census can continue through the end of October. We speak to representatives from the League of Women Voters in Miami-Dade and Broward to tell us how this will affect the upcoming elections.
“The league could not be more excited because the census is much more important than a lot of people give it credit for,” said Monica Skoko-Rodriguez, President of League of Women Voters in Miami-Dade County.
The new census deadline is October 31st.
According to Monica, the ruling is in regard to a shifting deadline prompted by the coronavirus.
So how does this affect the election?
“The census deals with apportionment or how many representatives in government you will get. If there are more people, they will be portioned differently and your districts will be drawn differently to really focus on those areas of need,” said Monica.
Along with determining the seats in the House of Representatives and in various state legislatures, the data is used to determine the distribution of the billions of dollars for federally funded programs.
“I was actually disappointed when I completed my census [because] it’s so short! It’s so easy to do, it won’t even take five minutes of your time and it will really help to shape and help your community,” added Monica.
In Broward, Andrea Sleeper, the voter education event coordinator of the organization, says while the census is extremely important they’ve been attending food distributions to remind South Floridians to register to vote.
“I thought it would be a wonderful way to hand out our voter education materials since we are no longer holding in-person events because of COVID. So we have voting information in English and in Spanish,” said Andrea.
Andrea says they hand out information to at least 300 people a day.
“A lot of people said thank God you were here. We didn’t know where to get this information from and especially the Hispanic community. They’re so happy to see that we have Spanish information and I get a big thumbs up,” added Andrea.
Here are some important dates to remember:
The last day to fill out our census is October 31st.
The last day to register to vote is October 5th.
If you’re mailing in your ballot, the league recommends you send it in by October 19th, since the deadline is October 24th.